3 Tips to Strengthen Your Summer Admissions Strategy

Colleges may have nearly another month of summer visits before campus “comes back to life.”

By now you may be getting frustrated with showcasing your quiet campus, but stay strong, it’ll be over before you know it and if you do college visits right it will pay off in the long run.

Although it’s great to get prospects on campus during the weekday at some point during the school year, the reality of life for most juniors and seniors means visiting on a day that fits most into their schedule and their parents schedule. For many, that means coming during the summer.

It’s hard for prospective students to get the full grasp of your campus without seeing it in its usual hustle and bustle flow; they miss the students interacting in the dorms and outside classrooms, sports teams practicing in the gym, and friends congregating in the cafeteria for lunch.

Here are a few tips from our experts based on feedback we’ve received from clients as well as both students and parents.

1. Amplify your tour.

One (and you might call it, slightly radical) idea we have been pushing is using video as part of your tours to show what different areas of campus look like when they are busy. Using a 30 second clip showing a game, or students sitting in the library during exam time, dorm life etc. you can either use QR codes on a sign that can be scanned using a tour guide’s iPad, or just have the video sequentially ready to go for your tour. These short videos can quickly be recorded by students, or even tour guides during busy days on campus but they will help bring your campus to life for summer visitors. Any video content produced is a great opportunity to engage prospects and their parents, especially during the summer season. You can also try posting some of these videos on your school’s YouTube Channel or website for those unable to make it to campus to show them all your school has to offer.

2. Targeted text campaigns.

Continual communication and nurturing during the summer is a must. Many students are spending their day hanging by the pool, cramming in summer reading and working their summer jobs. Now is a great time to get in touch and communicate the way students want: immediate.  Automated personalized text messages are a great way to send timely and consolidated information. Texts can be sent to make sure they know about summer visit opportunities, spread the word about upcoming events, and check and simply check-in to see what’s up.

3. Revamp your social media strategy.

Now or never! Students planning which schools they will visit and eventually submit applications to, will be checking up on schools. Maintaining a constant presence where the students are looking the most is imperative. Your social media posts, whether they are tweets, Instagrams, Facebook posts or blogs should reaffirm to students that they want to visit your campus.

Tip: One great way to increase engagement on your social media platforms is to hold a photo contest.

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Encourage students to share their experiences on the summer tour, or how they are reppin’ your school from home. Here’s how…

1. Have students snap a pic and upload it to Instagram or Facebook with a school specific hashtag, either while visiting your campus during the summer, or reppin’ your school’s gear at home, have them get creative!

2. Each week pick your admission team’s favorite photo to be featured on your website. Don’t forget! You can cross-promote by posting the photo on each of your social media profiles to advertise and announce winners

3. To boost entries and add the icing on the cake, send the winner a school t-shirt or water bottle to rock at home

The temperature may be in the 90’s… but when it comes to your summer admissions strategy, don’t sweat it! Try our tips and let us know how your admissions office is keepin’ it cool during the warmer months.